Wednesday, April 14, 2021

La Calle

There are so many chain restaurants in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore, that when a locally-owned joint opens up, I get excited. Situated on a bland block of South Street, between Baltimore and Redwood, and a stone's throw from The Block, La Calle--"the street" in Spanish--is among the most exciting. While the name conjures thoughts of street food, the decor--some walls paneled, others painted the color of red mole, a full bar--suggest fine dining.

At this point, I've only ever been for lunch, so have not experienced the lobster empanadas or braised lamb shank barbacoa or chicken mole poblano, all of which sound amazing.

What I have had, so far, has been the shrimp ceviche, light and full of flavor (though the accompanying "sweet" tortilla chips are a little too thick and crunchy for my tastes).

Also a perfectly cooked, crisp-skinned, salmon that was so good I've had it twice. It was accompanied by tiny potatoes, tomatoes, and fava beans in an epazote lobster cream sauce. And it's $12. Honestly, both times it was the best salmon I've had in town in ages, hands down, and at a fraction of the price.

Several of my various dining companions went with tacos, and though I didn't get to try any of them, they looked uniformly tasty. That might be my next order, unless of course I finally go for dinner. The last time I was at La Calle, it was with Mr Minx, and he tried the al pastor torta. It's a nice big sandwich, as tortas usually are, filled with tasty and tender pork bits that I couldn't resist snatching off of his plate.

We also tried the flan, which was excellent--firm, very smooth, just sweet enough, and dusted with a smattering of sesame seeds. One of the best I've tried.

La Calle is a long walk from work for me, but well worth it. And of course if I'm feeling lazy, I can always take a bus. I'm already contemplating my next visit in a couple of weeks. Do go, because I'd love for this place to stick around for a long time.

La Calle
10 South St
Baltimore, MD 21202

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Souvlaki Authentic Greek Cuisine

I'm always happy to explore food options in Hampden, so when we were invited to a tasting at Souvlaki, we jumped on it.

I had passed by the place a few times and even wrote a few sentences about it in an article for the City Walker App blog, but had never eaten there. (It's very easy to get stuck going to the same three favorite place over and over.) I knew Souvlaki was of the fast-casual, counter-service, genre, and that I could pick a protein, side, and sauce to make up a platter. That seemed the best option for a tasting, actually, so that's what both Mr Minx and I did.

But first, we started with the zucchini balls. Kolokythokeftedes. Say that five times fast. (Say that one time slowly and I'll be impressed.) Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they were lovely whether or not they got a dunk in the accompanying tzatziki.

Next time, I want to try the slightly easier to pronounce pantzarokeftedes, or beet balls.

For my entree, I had the stuffed bifteki (spiced beef patties stuffed with kaseri cheese) with a yee salad (arugula, tomatoes, ntakos crumb, manoyri cheese, balsamic cream, evoo) and melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant). The beef was tender and super-flavorful, nicely seasoned, with just enough cheesy ooze. It was great wrapped in the pita and topped with some of the eggplant and a bit of the tzatziki left over from the zucchini balls. The salad was pretty good, though was slightly overdressed.

Mr Minx had the lamb souvlaki with Mediterranean fries (topped with pecorino and oregano) and more tzatziki. I loved the the touch of the grilled lemons. And the fries were fabulous. I'm not a big potato fan, and I am very picky when it comes to fries. These were crispy and golden and just lovely, and they came in a portion more than large enough to share.

I'm looking forward to going back. I want to try the shrimp souvlaki with feta cheese sauce and more of those fries. And the beet balls. I should probably try the spinach and feta pies, too, for research sake....

Souvlaki Greek Cuisine
1103 W 36th St
Baltimore, MD 21211

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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